Kozhikode: Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Chandrayaan-1 Project Director M. Annadurai said India will be on an equal footing with other countries in planetary and space missions very soon.
Speaking to reporters and later delivering the ‘India Moon Mission’ lecture as part of ‘Moon Landing Week’ celebrations at the Regional Science Centre (RSC) and Planetarium here on Friday, Dr. Annadurai said it was a great opportunity for ISRO.
“The moon mission is not a tour. We are going with a purpose,” he said.
He said the advice of the President of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, to extend the objective made the team explore more and add a 25-kg system to the original one.
Dr. Annadurai said the ideal period for a launch would be between February 21, 2008 and December 21, 2010. Otherwise, shadows on the moon will be for longer periods depriving the vehicle of solar energy.
Explaining the rationale behind the mission, he said the Chandrayaan would undertake experiments with better resolution equipment. Also, it provides a unique opportunity for ISRO to collaborate with institutions from across the world.
He said the mission would be in early 2008. It would involve survey of the moon for two continuous years. Nobody has attempted it so far, Dr. Annadurai said.
India’s moon mission will be to find minerals, chemical and water content in the moon.
Also, countries like the US, Russia, China and Japan are looking at the moon due to the presence of Helium 3, which could answer the question of alternative fuel for the world. This makes future trips to the moon ‘voyages of profit.’
Arecanut and Spices Development Director M. Tamilselvan presided. Head of the Department of Physics at St. Joseph’s College, Devagiri, P.N. Vijayan CMFRI Scientist-in-charge P.N. Radhakrishnan Nair and RSC project coordinator V.S. Ramachandran also spoke.